You have probably all seen one of those old west movies where the tumble weed rolls across the road. The dirt is so parched that it’s lighter than air and swirls in a perpetual dust cloud. A blazing summer sun bakes the earth until the once fertile soil turns to a cracked dry brick. When you watch those old-time scenes, they transport you. Maybe they send you to the deserts of New Mexico, or the rocky cliffs by Tehachapi. There are plenty of ghost towns there. I am sure you don’t get a picture in your head of the fertile San Joaquin Valley. A Valley with two roaring rivers slicing through it. This is an area responsible for 25% of our nations food. Surely not there.
If you ever had the opportunity to visit our Valley in the summer, though, the picture that those cinematic artist painted would have been set before you. It’s hot here, and dry and hot. The majestic waterfalls in Yosemite slow to a trickle come September and October, and you can literally walk across the fierce Kings river. With the drought hanging on, the ability to even water our lawns has been diminished, let alone a quick run through a sprinkler for funsies. So we have all been none too patiently waiting for our Fall to arrive, eagerly preparing for temperatures below 90 degrees, and today it happened…
We received enough rain today to make mud! I’m not overly optimistic that today’s storm will replenish the water table, but it did renew the spirits of one mud loving little boy. He rolled in it, made a race track in it, made me some nice cold mud coffee. It was a Squishy I hadn’t seen in too many weeks to count. We spent all day in the mud, and when it was time to come in and take a bath I actually heard laughs and giggles…AT BATH TIME! That just does not happen at my house. After bath time we lit a cozy fire in the fire pit. Then there was only one thing left to do. I mean, there is really only one thing you can do when it’s stormy outside and you have a cozy fire, ewie gooie roasted marshmallows. Squishy had so much fun passing out the marshmallows that he and daddy had toasted to perfection.
Then he did the only logical thing, started playing in the mud some more. This time in his jammies. Daddy was cringing before his bare little toes stepped foot off the patio, but I wasn’t ready for the laughter to stop. I am sure every mom feels the same hearing their little one shriek with joy. The sound of Squishy’s laughter fills me with such a bubbly sunshiny feeling. I reminded Daddy that clothes and kids are easily washable.
I call it Mud Therapy for Squishy. From the time he was too small to work the back door, or even walk, he would sneak out the doggy door seeking the magic of squishy brown mud. So when those big fat wet drops started to fall from the sky, I knew today was a day of celebration. It is a welcoming home to a friend that has been away far too long.
I know that this first rain will be followed by others, and am comforted by that thought. Even though that means I will have small muddy footprints up and down my hall. I can guarantee Squishy will not be squeaky clean for at least six months, and that my tub will have an inch of dirt laying at the bottom after each bath. These small things don’t drive me crazy, and I will tell you why.
Sometimes things can just seem too much, like life is pulling you in so many direction, and you feel stuck and sinking at the same time. You spend countless hours on google and Facebook trying to find SOMETHING that will help restore the calm and joy to your home. You know deep down that there has to be something out there that will be that magic ace card, the tool you need to finally reach your child. Whether you child is 3,4, or 28 I highly recommend Mud…it really is magic at our house.